From The Liberal Scarf:@andreahorwath @rmarchesempp your unwillingness to have #AdultConversation re #UserFees 4 roads led me to cancel my @ontariondp mmbrshp :0(
— Trevor Haché (@trevorhache) May 30, 2013
Hache twice ran for the NDP in Ottawa-Vanier, and as Policy Director for Ecology Ottawa, a major Ottawa-area environmental organization which he was also a founding member of. (In the interest of full disclosure, I also worked for Ecology Ottawa for several months as a fundraising canvasser.)
Horwath moved the ONDP away from promoting public transit and sound environmental policy in the last election when the ONDP platform included a plank to use your tax dollars to subsidize gas prices for big gas guzzling cars. The ONDP's latest move to shows they continue to reject real models for public transit funding, and it'll be interesting to see how the rump environmental wing of the ONDP handles Horwath embracing the Rob Ford position on public transit.
Wynne's call for "enhanced revenue tools" can be pretty easily mocked as code for higher taxes. But at the moment she is the only provincial leader who seems to be offering a real solution to what everyone agrees is a real Ontario problem (gridlock around the GTA). The others want to pay for transit by summoning the magic pony. And down here in T.O. Rob Ford's entire plan for expanding the TTC has been to wait for the magic pony to show up carrying bags full of money. Mr. Hache's resignation is encouraging in that it suggests that a few politicians out there not named Wynne have realized there is no magic pony.
It's not clear to me, and presumably to other readers, exactly what the differences are between this Ottawa environmentalist, Hamilton based NDP MLA's and the Ontario Liberals on the proposed transit plan which apparently not only includes the GTA, but Hamilton region itself in some regionally based tax scheme.
Maybe it's the fact that political discourse focuses so much on scandals - Duffy, Ford, etc., but outside of political junkies there has not been broad public consultation in Hamilton on the merits, pro and con, of such a scheme.
An example would be exchanges such as the following in the Toronto Star discussion on the issue:
"How the heck did Hamilton get included in this Big Move. I drive through downtown Hamilton weekly from Waterdown to Stoney Creek & it`s always clear sailing! The LRT being considered is a convenience item only & will do nothing as far as travel time!"
"Hamilton has the perfect solution for gridlock: lots of one way streets and timed lights. You can maintain 50 km/h and drive through the entire city without stopping. It's simple and cheap. That's why the Liberals don't like it."
"Yes and in the process it's turned Hamilton into a second-rate city with a really rough, transient downtown. The LRT will transform Hamilton and provide a true, reliable alternative to the personal automobile."
Somehow I don't think the LRT will cleanse Hamilton of its "rough, transient downtown" who choose to cycle about not as a lifestyle choice, but as an economic necessity. And this "rough, transient downtown" intended for removal as part of the overall scheme per its advocates is part of the Hamilton electorate who deserve to be consulted on its merits.
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